Where a poor relationship exists between venue and caterer – you can expect to start seeing damaging effects – including reduced visitation, event sales, retail sales and negative customer experiences. As hospitality consultants, we sadly see this very often. A key driver for the team at Perfectly Paired is to ensure that Australia’s best venues are aligned with the right fit catering partner, providing support to both to ensure that customer experiences at your venue are exceptional, always.
Explore our quick tips on how to create a strong venue and caterer partnership that will position your venue as a cut above the pack.
Tender process – get it right from the get go!
For many years, the venue tender process has been arduous for caterers – often asking caterers to provide a high level of detail on irrelevant items. There should be no grey areas through the tender process – caterers need to understand your venue’s expectations and vision – and highlight how caterer will best align with your brand.
Venues need to be clear on their requirements for items such as internal event discounts, black out dates and service delivery (to name just a few). Set KPI’s – together. And firm up how these KPI’s will be managed throughout the course of the contract. Both venue and caterer need to understand the implications if these KPI’s aren’t met and how performance will be measured ongoing.
Successful Australian venues are those that have all venue stakeholders working together as a unified team. Avoid an ‘us and them’ or ‘caterer versus venue’ mentality – you are all working together towards a common goal – delivering extraordinary experiences for visitors and guests to your venue.
A joint team end of year party, social occasions or team building activities throughout the year are great ways to strengthen relationships. Team training sessions or a role swap exercise (for example a venue representative may work on an event one evening and a catering representative may work in the venue office for a day) are also great ways for both teams to develop an understanding of what the other team does day to day.
Open and honest communication – always
In any business, honesty is always the best policy. Venue issues need to be resolved in a timely manner and its preferable to not start an ‘email war’ with a million people copied in! Pick up the phone or visit your event partner face to face to talk issues through together.
Negative feedback should be provided to the relevant business managers (so that service delivery can continually improve) and just as importantly, good feedback should also be circulated. If your venue received a compliment on its food – share the love with your caterer’s kitchen team and congratulate them on a job well done.
It is still fairly common for 2 systems to be used in Australian venues. From the outset, venue and caterer need to be clear on what reports are required with deadlines set for the year ahead. Many event management platforms are still dated in their capacity to report on sales and marketing – so if your venue requires regular reporting on items such as sales conversion, marketing channel performance or enquiry line – ensure that your caterer has the capacity to provide these reports effectively. Sales, marketing and operations meetings should be held very regularly so that reports can be reviewed and discussed as a team. Fudging figures is not a good look and will come out in the wash, causing harm to the venue and caterer relationship. As we said before – honesty is the best policy!
At Perfectly Paired, we work closely with venues to analyse and make recommendations on current catering operations.
Then, by developing the most effective food and beverage strategies that aligns with your premium venues, we help elevate your offering – with comprehensive consultation that ensures more profits, more sales and more visitation.